Agyeman-Manu Reads BoG Letter In Court Showing Health Ministry Authorized Payment For Ambulances

Agyeman-Manu Reads BoG Letter In Court Showing Health Ministry Authorized Payment For Ambulances

  • The Health Minister during cross-examination on Tuesday, read a letter from the BoG indicating that the Ministry authorized payment for the ambulances
  • At an earlier hearing, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu disclosed that it was Dr Ato Forson who rather authorized the payments
  • Dr Ato Forson and two others have been charged with causing financial loss to the state over the importation of the ambulances

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The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has during cross-examination, read a letter from the Bank of Ghana which revealed that the Health Ministry authorized payment to Big Sea Ltd of Dubai, contrary to his own earlier testimony before a Financial and Economic Court in Accra presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botchwey.

Mr Agyeman-Manu, at a previous sitting of the Court, stated in his evidence in chief and during cross-examination that it was Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the first accused, who authorized payment by a 7th August 2014 letter requesting for the establishment of letters of credit in favour of Big Sea.

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In court on Tuesday, the Health Minister read a letter from the BoG indicating that it was the Ministry that authorized the payment for the ambulances
Dr Cassiel Ato Forson is facing prosecution for the purchase of the ambulances Image Credit: Dr Cassiel Ato Forson/Kwaku Agyeman-Manu
Source: Facebook

Answering further questions under cross-examination on Tuesday, Mr Agyeman Manu was compelled to read a letter dated 20th March 2015 and written by an official of the Bank of Ghana addressed to the then Minister of Health asking the Ministry first to approve shipping documents presented by Big Sea and give authorization for payment under the LC.

Mr Agyeman Manu, the third prosecution witness, had initially denied knowledge of the existence of the said letter.

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Reading the letter signed by an Assistant Director of the Banking Department of the Bank of Ghana, Leslie Akrong, on behalf of the head of the Banking Department verbatim, Mr Agyeman Manu disclosed that the Bank of Ghana informed the Ministry of Health that it had "received shipping documents from the Ghana International Bank, London, relating to a presentation value of EUR790,000 ON APPROVAL BASIS."

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This, the Bank of Ghana stated in the letter, "requires that you (Ministry of Health) indicate your acceptance of the presentation and authorize payment before the documents are released to your good selves."

The BoG letter revealed that it was the Health Ministry that authorised the payment of the ambulances
The letter from the Bank of Ghana tendered in evidence
Source: Original

The letter further requested the Ministry of Health to arrange "urgently" to have the shipping documents "examined" at the Bank of Ghana's counters.

The letter's content is diametrically opposite to Mr Agyeman Manu's earlier testimony that Dr Forson gave authorization for payment.

The second prosecution witness, Edward Markwei, who is the Head of the Trade Finance Department at the Bank of Ghana, had earlier testified that the LC in favour of Big Sea had been done on an approval basis and without the express authorization and approval by the Health Ministry who were the applicants under the LC, there was no way payment would have been made to Big Sea.

The Health Minister had also earlier admitted under cross-examination by Dr Bamba that an LC didn't constitute payment but was only a guarantee for payment pending the fulfilment of certain conditions.

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Former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson and former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Dr Sylvester Anemana, as well as a businessman, Richard Jakpa, have been charged with causing financial loss to the state over the importation of 30 ambulances that formed part of a consignment of 200 under a contract signed between the Ministry of Health and Dubai-based firm, Big Sea Limited in 2012.

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Ekow Annan Francis Ekow Annan writes for He has been part of the Politics and Current Affairs Desk since August 2022. Ekow has over ten years of experience in news reporting via various multimedia channels, including TV, Radio, and Online. He is an experienced multimedia journalist specialising in telling impactful current affairs, politics and business stories. He holds a BA in Communications (Strategic Communications) from the prestigious African University College of Communications (AUCC).